Middle School STEM Challenges and Engineering Design Process for Middle School
- Google Apps™
- Easel Activity
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Middle schoolers can be a tough crowd. Are you struggling to keep your middle school students engaged in rigorous STEM learning? You can promote critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork, and communication skills by teaching the engineering design process with these engaging STEM challenges!
Each middle school STEM project guides students through the engineering design process, while they work toward solving interesting, real-world problems. Students will demonstrate their mastery of the NGSS Engineering Performance Expectations and explore a wide range of STEM topics and careers.
Grab this bundle today to save your planning and prep time, while knowing your students will be learning and engaged in fun middle school STEM activities!
What’s included in the middle school STEM challenge bundle?
17 (and counting!) fun STEM challenges, including:
- Animal Prosthesis Challenge: In this activity, students are tasked with designing a prosthetic device to improve an animal client's quality of life.
- Bee House Challenge: In this activity, students are tasked with creating a nesting site for mason bees.
- Bottle Rocket Challenge: In this activity, students are tasked with designing and testing bottle rockets launched with a baking soda and vinegar reaction.
- Circuit-Powered Valentine Challenge: In this activity, students are tasked with building a light up Valentine's Day card.
- Cold Pack Design Challenge: In this activity, students will use their knowledge of endothermic and exothermic reactions to design and build a cold pack for the school nurse.
- Cook the Corn Solar Oven Challenge: In this activity, students are tasked with creating a solar oven that can warm canned corn for Thanksgiving dinner.
- Cookie Delivery Challenge: In this activity, students are tasked with creating a package that can protect a cookie as it is shipped through the mail.
- Corn Maze Design Challenge: In this activity, students are tasked with creating a 3D marble maze modeled after a corn maze.
- Easter Egg Drop Challenge: In this activity, students are tasked with helping the Easter bunny with new egg delivery technology and creating packages to keep eggs intact as they are dropped from the sky.
- Fidget Spinner Design Challenge: In this activity, students will use the engineering design process to design and build their own fidget spinner.
- Halloween Candy Bucket Design Challenge: In this activity, students are tasked with creating a bucket to hold the greatest amount of Halloween candy.
- Hot Cocoa Cup Challenge: In this activity, students are tasked with creating an insulated cup for hot chocolate.
- Newton’s Laws Car Safety Challenge: In this activity, students will use Newton’s Third Law to design and build a car that will keep an egg safe as it collides into the wall.
- Plant Maze STEM Challenge: In this activity, students learn about phototropism and design and build a plant maze to demonstrate how plants are able to turn toward light.
- Snowflake Design Challenge: In this activity, students are tasked with designing a snowflake with six sides and rotational symmetry.
- Space Needle Design Challenge: In this activity, students are tasked with designing and building a model space needle tower for their town.
- Thanksgiving Table Design Challenge: In this activity, students are tasked with creating a model table for Thanksgiving dinner that can hold the greatest amount of food.
- Water Balloon Catapult - In this activity, students are tasked with creating a catapult that can launch water balloons as far as possible.
- Wind-Powered Car Design Challenge: In this activity, students learn about climate change and renewable energy sources Then they design and build a wind-powered car.
Each of the STEM challenges described above also has:
✔ Printable, Google and Easel versions of the student activities and worksheets that guide students through the engineering design process
✔ Detailed lesson plans and slideshows for easy lesson facilitation
✔ Easy-to-use grading rubrics and assessments
✔ Flexible building materials, so you can use what you have on hand
✔ Printable certificates for student engineers
✔ Suggestions for building materials, distance learning, and differentiation
Included Bonus Material:
- An engineering design process rubric that can be used with any middle school STEM challenge
- Supply lists for stocking your STEM lab with materials that work for a wide range of STEM challenges
- Donation letters to help get supplies donated by your students' families and community members
- Suggestions for where to find free or low-cost materials for STEM challenges
What are other teachers saying?
“Well thought out and well developed.”
“My kids are loving these!”
How can the middle school STEM challenges be used in your classroom?
- Practice problem solving with the engineering design process
- Learn about real-world STEM disciplines and professions
- Supplement NGSS science curriculum by address the engineering practices
- Keep students learning and engaged before holiday breaks
- Use a challenge to keep students on task when you have unusual schedules or attendance due to field trips, testing, or other interruptions
- Give students opportunities to practice 21st century skills, such as communication, collaboration, and critical thinking
- Leave the middle school STEM challenges for engaging sub lesson plans
- Assign the activities to be completed on virtual or asynchronous learning days
- Use the resource for extra credit, a holiday break packet, home learning, or an extension activity
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If you liked this product, check out:
- Engineering Design Process Unit
- Engineering Careers Research Project
- STEM Group Roles Lesson and Materials
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